Monday, 24 September 2007
Getting together with the bel ragazzo Pt 2
We became friends after the children incident was clarified and reached a corner stone while drinking cocktails in Campo Dei Fiori one night. Giuseppe mentioned that he would like to visit the far away shores of Australia one day. We were on the subject of Australia as I was heading back down under at the start of January 2007. I thought nothing of it, and told Giuseppe that if he wanted to go he must do it soon, as in order to get a work visa you need to be under 30 years old.
A few days later the idea came to me that Giuseppe should come to Australia with me! Truth be told I was looking forward to going back, but what on earth was I going to do for 3 months? I wasn’t going to travel the country alone and my friends and family would be working too. What I needed was a travel companion, and who better then my new Italian friend? From that moment I was over come with the goal of convincing Giuseppe to come with me. I used to casually pop up at the hotel when he was working and leave him small Australian gifts. My twin sister and her husband had left me many a souvenir and Giuseppe was showered with little koala’s waving the Australian flag, rulers, pencils and erasers decorated with kangaroos, even a calendar of Victoria. I knew he collected foreign coins, so I emptied my wallet and gave him every coin I could find, and my twin had also left behind some tasty chocolate treats, so I shared my precious, not available in Italy and all time favourite cherry ripes with Giuseppe too. Once I have my mind set on something I cannot give up, I am persistent on the point of annoying and poor Giuseppe was hounded day and night.
Without realising it we began to spend nearly all of our spare time together. I was constantly asking Giuseppe if he had made up his mind about Australia, but he was keeping me waiting. One night he took me out for a drink and told me yes, he would come to Australia with me and he had made up his mind long ago but wanted to keep me waiting. (Cheeky – I know! He just loved the attention and the Australian gifts.) I was so excited and we began to make plans, all the time just remaining very good friends who spent all of our free time together.
It was on a warm autumn day in 2006 when we – the very good friends – had a day off and decided to leave the hustle and bustle of Rome behind. After finding cheap return train tickets to a small medieval Tuscan town we set off on the journey to Grosetto. Perhaps it was the enchanting cobbled streets, the fresh countryside air, the freedom from being out of Rome – chi lo sa? All we knew was the something had changed that day in our little Tuscan village and Giuseppe had become my bel ragazzo
On the train back to Rome neither of us wanted the day to end. The skies had opened, it was late, dark and wet as we stood at the train station at the awkward time when you don’t quite know what to do. I suggested a night cap in Trastevere which was close to my home. We used to go out in Trastevere often with friends but we had never been there alone, the only problem was that it was walking distance to my house but a complicated public transport system to his. It was late and Giuseppe was not sure if he would come with me, don't forget that not only was it late, it was cold and raining and it would be very time consuming for him to get home with the night buses. He said he would think and tell me his decision when the train for Trastevere came.
I knew by this stage that if he got on the Trastevere train then that was proof he liked me and if he didn't then we would return to our respective homes as very good friends. You can guess what happened next…yes, he took the Trastevere train and we went for a nightcap. Hang on though – don’t forget that Giuseppe is a little bit shy and he is also a gentleman so the story does not end there. We had a drink or two, realised that something between us had changed but we were too awkward to say or do anything so we went home alone that night with plans to go out the next night.
The next night came and we went to a bar near the Vatican. By this stage of our friendship we had began speaking Italian. We used to speak exclusivey English but one day Giuseppe stopped speaking English and would only speak Italian. Annoying yes since I had the vocabulary of a 4 year old child, but slowly, slowly I got the hang of Italian more or less.
So, we went to this pub and had a lovely evening and it was this night that the terribly impatient Leanne decided she would have to take the reins and make the first move on the shy and polite Giuseppe. We had not acknowledged our feelings before this time as Giuseppe in particular did not want to jeopardise our friendship possibly making the upcoming trip to Australia awkward. Also he did not want me to think he was one of these Italians who prey on foreign girls for a bit of a good time.
And the rest ladies and gentleman, as they say ‘is history’. Now you know how a ½ Calabrese, ½ Pugliese therefore 100% Australian girl, met and fell in love with a 100% Calabrese boy in Rome the eternal city, with a little help from a Tuscan village.